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Thursday’s Special – Traces of the Past Y4-01

I have been working on some images from a walking holiday along the Scottish Borders almost three years ago. By coincidence, these tie in nicely with this week’s Lost in Translation theme of Traces of the Past.

Paula Borkovic posted an image of Melrose Abbey in Scotland. Just downstream along the River Tweed lies Dryburgh Abbey. The abbey is located in a secluded area and is somewhat off the beaten track.

Dryburgh Abbey was founded in 1150 and it was occupied for over 400 years.  It was established by a group of canons from Alnwick Priory in Northumberland, and became the mother house of the Premonstratensian order in Scotland[also known as the Norbertines or the White Canons elsewhere]. The abbey was closed following the Scottish Reformation, and the site remained abandoned until it was purchased in 1780 and converted into a landscape garden. The novelist Sir Walter Scott was buried here in 1832. Parts of the abbey are well preserved, and the daffodils are plentiful in the spring.

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Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland

Further to the south lies Jedburgh Abbey, which is in the centre of Jedburgh and located along the Jed Water. The abbey was founded by a group of French Augustinian canons at about the same time as Dryburgh Abbey. It was established in a prominent location in order to be close to the local king’s palace. This abbey also fell out of use after the Scottish Reformation of 1560, and it was partially dismantled for other purposes. A significant portion of the abbey church remains and is the most visible feature today.

I have been experimenting with the use of textures and other techniques in Photoshop to create a vintage look for these images. I hope that you enjoy them.

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Jedburgh Abbey, Scotland
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Thursday’s Special – Darkness and Light

There is no more iconic location to celebrate the winter solstice than at Stonehenge in southern England. This is my contribution to Paula’s Lost in Translation Thursday’s Special for the week of December 21, 2017.

Although this photo was not shot in December, it was taken at sunrise. The special effects were mostly accidental – while experimenting with a variable ND filter – which resulted in the red flaring. The blue hue was accentuated using a DXO filter preset. The overall impression – mysterious.

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Darkness and light at sunrise
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge: Shape

Sometimes a photo challenge topic comes along and you know right away: I have a good example for that.

Here is my submission this week for Paula’s Lost in Translation Black & White Challenge: Shape.

My “shape” is a unique light fixture found in a downtown office building in Toronto. I titled it light spill because it looks like something that spilled on the floor – except this is looking up, not down.

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light spill
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Ceiling

Some blogging photo challenges inspire me more than others. This month I found some inspiration in Paula’s Lost in Translation Black & White Challenge: Ceiling.

Two images from London, England, immediately came to my mind as worthy of posting on my blog. Both ceilings are examples of functional architecture, bringing daylight into a central and otherwise enclosed space.

Covent Garden Market was opened in 1830, and was designed to enclose an outdoor market that had been on the site since the late 17th Century. This photograph was taken in December – hence the Christmas decorations hanging under the skylight.

The Tate Modern Gallery is housed in a repurposed power plant on the south bank of the Thames. The Bankside Power Station was rebuilt after WWII as an oil-fired electricity generating plant, and this skylight was originally located over the turbine room, which is now the main entrance hall to the Tate.

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Covent Garden Market
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Tate Modern Gallery
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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Numbers

Over the centuries, stone masons have been known to chisel their unique, distinguishing mark into a stone, leaving their signature for future generations. Moving forward in time to the past century, concrete has become a prolific construction material.

Here in Toronto, I have discovered that sidewalk installers have been keen to embed their “signatures” in freshly laid concrete. Here are a few examples of modern day concrete markers, indicating the dates when the concrete was installed. These are my submissions in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Numbers for this week.

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For the budding urban archeologist, these sidewalk markers can be used to determine the dates of previous infrastructure upgrades, and identify the businesses that were active in their trade at that time. Anyone interested in doing some sidewalk rubbings?

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1969
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1996
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2001
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2002
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2012
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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Wheels

I selected a couple of images of old wheels to post in response to Cee’s weekly Black and White Photo Challenge for this week. These wheels belong to old carts that were the primary means of transporting commodities in their day. Presently, they are on display for public viewing at museums or antique shops, as a reminder of the past.

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The Cumnock Star wagon was built in the 1870’s and operated on a round trip route between Cumnock and Molong, in central New South Wales, Australia. This wagon was drawn by a team of 9 clydesdales, carrying wheat in one direction, and beer, spirits and supplies in the opposite direction. The Aussies have always needed to be well supplied!

The old cart and wheelbarrows are on display at the Weald and Downland Living Museum, located in southern England, and the subject of one of my previous blog posts.

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The Cumnock Star
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cart and wheelbarrow wheels
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Typical

On two occasions over the past decade, I have visited the Louvre Museum in Paris. On both of my visits, I viewed The Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. This is my first example of the use of this week’s theme word – I am certain that an infrequent visitor to the Louvre, like me, will “typically” view this iconic painting during a tour of the museum.

I took a photograph during each visit, and both images display a “typical” crowd of viewers crowded around the painting. Cameras and mobiles ready to shoot.

Perhaps “atypically,” there is one person in each image who is pointing a camera or phone in the opposite direction. The 2016 version is likely for a selfie, but not the earlier version.

These images have been posted in response to Paula’s Lost in Translation challenge for this week – Typical.

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Mona Lisa, October 2010
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Mona Lisa, April 2016
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Traces of the Past

This is my second contribution to the Lost in Translation blog Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge. This week’s topic is “Traces of the Past Y2-06,” which instantly reminded me of images I have taken of ancient standing stone monuments in my travels in the UK. I enjoy visiting sites like these because they stimulate your imagination, and make you wonder how these structures were used when they were first built.

The portal into the past is probably the most recognizable image, as Stonehenge is a popular tourist destination, located in Wiltshire in southern England. It is a neolithic standing stone circle that is several 1000’s of years old.

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portal into the past

Lanyon Quoit is much lesser known. Located in Cornwall, south-west England, this stone structure was once part of a dolmen, or ancient tomb. The stones that remain are a reconstruction of the original tomb, with many missing parts.

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Lanyon Quoit
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Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Windows

This is my first time entering an image in the Lost in Translation Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge. This week’s challenge is the topic of windows, with some selective colouring.

My choice of widows is a shot that I took for its minimalist qualities. It is a single storey commercial building with black ribbed metal siding, and a window that was quite literally punched into the facade. The monochrome effect was almost there already, with the exception of a small green vase in one corner of the window.

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window with green vase
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Collectors Anonymous

I was scanning other blogs a few days ago when I stumbled across a blogger who has admitted to collecting photos of temporary barricades for over 30 years. He then goes on to describe in detail their material, form and function, just like one might describe other aspects of our built environment.

Last month, I posted my first collection of doors, and I was surprised to discover how many other “door” enthusiasts there are out there. Maybe we are all collectors of “things,” as well as thoughts and ideas, and it is just a matter of what we keep to ourselves and what we are willing to share with others.

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Cee Neuner also runs a weekly Odd Ball Photo Challenge, which may provide an outlet for bloggers to share some of their “oddball” collections. My images in today’s post are provided in that vein, although I don’t confess to having collected any of these items on an ongoing basis. More by accident than by intention.

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Transitory collection of items deposited along a footpath
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Temporary barricades
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Firehose connection with a high degree of difficulty
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Simple fire hydrant